Partnachklamm: The Winter Jewel of Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Partnachklamm in Garmish Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany

Partnachklamm in Garmish Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany

Partnachklamm (Partnach Gorge) is located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany.  It is simply breathtaking in winter!  Snow covered trees,  huge dripping icicles and frozen waterfalls make it a winter wonderland.  It’s also one of the few gorges that is open in winter.

Snow covered trees and river in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Hiking path takes visitors through caves cut out from the rocks along the gorge.

The Partnachklamm follows the historic route used by lumberjacks and leads through tunnels and overhanging cliffs.  It is only 700m long, but is 80m deep and there are lots of possibilities to extend it into a more moderate or strenuous hike.  The nearby Höllentalklam, (Hell Valley Gorge) is longer and also offers longer hiking possibilities but is only open Spring – Fall.    I would recommend doing the Höllentalklamm sometime between Spring and Fall since it was simply amazing in winter, for two different, but equally inspiring hikes.

Snow covered gorge that is open year round in Bavaria. The other advantage of going to the Partnachklamm in winter is that we saw only a few other hikers on the trail, giving us the illusion that we had the entire gorge to ourselves.  Torchlight tours of the gorge  are also available, although we did a self-guided tour.  Next time I want to do the torchlight tour, which would really highlight the tunnels and the icicles.
Huge icicles make the gorge especially beautiful during winter.The Partnachklamm was simply stunning covered in icicles, although our German friends were disappointed that the icicles weren’t bigger and recommended that we come back when it was colder and the icicles would be triple the size.  I can’t believe I’m actually hoping for colder weather so that I can go back.
Self-operated gondola that transfers passengers back and forth from the hut.Our German friends wisely recommended that we extend our hike by 20 minutes to the Forthaus Graseck Hotel, where we warmed up and grabbed a bite to eat.  Instead of going down the same way, we went down in the self-operated Graseckseilbahn, a self-operated funicular that’s waiting for you steps from the hotel.  Having no prior funicular operating experience, I was a bit nervous, but relieved to learn that it self-started upon closing the door.  Even I could manage that with my limited machine operating experience!  It’s very old and a bit daunting, especially if you are scared of heights as one of our friends was, but I was not about to turn down the opportunity to add “funicular operator” to my resume.  Plus the views on the way down were worth it.  There’s no such thing as a free ride though – at the bottom the operator collects your €3.50 per person fee.

I’m going back to the Parnachklamm during the next cold spell to see the gigantic icicles torch in hand.  Don’t worry you can go back down with me in the Graseckseilbahn with me – I’m an experienced operator!


Learn more about the Partnachklamm (Gorge) history.  Visit the Garmisch-Partenkirchen official website for further info.

See more places to visit in Germany.

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About Author

Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their hiking, cycling and wildlife vacations in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Munich, Germany. You can find her hiking in the mountains on most weekends.


January 12, 2012
So beautiful, i love the snow :)
January 12, 2012
How beautiful and dramatic photos. I can't believe you've got all that snow.
January 12, 2012
@Muza - I love the snow too. @Mette - Munich has no snow, but when you go outside, there's a ton. The best of both worlds.
January 12, 2012
Looks like a winter wonderland and what fun it would be checking it out at the next full moon. Stopping at the hotel sounds very civilized especially if there are any good German pastries around. And congrats on operating a funicular - interesting way to descend.
January 12, 2012
Wow, looks so beautiful. I don't get much snow but it always seems so peaceful and quiet - especially in nature. Love the photos!
January 12, 2012
Looks like a winter wonderland and what fun it would be checking it out at the next full moon. Stopping at the hotel sounds very civilized especially if there are any good German pastries around. And congrats on operating a funicular - interesting way to descend. (Having trouble getting my comment to post - delete if it's an extra)
January 12, 2012
You are right, the Parnachklamm is stunning during winter and something I am totally up for! The torchlight tour would be fabulous. I do enjoy Garmisch-Partenkirchen and will add this to my list of things to do next time I'm in the area.
January 12, 2012
It really does look like a winter wonderland! But I'm not convinced by that self-operated funicular... ;)
January 12, 2012
I feel cold just by looking at these photos. Beuatiful though!
January 12, 2012
It's been so unseasonably warm in California this year that I forgot it's winter. I really miss cold, snowy scenes like these!
January 12, 2012
Wow, beautiful. I've never heard of that place before. I will try to visit on my next trip to Germany. :)
January 12, 2012
Simply gorgeous. Winter can be magical if we embrace it. I am so looking frward to your photos from the torch tour.
January 12, 2012
Dramatic and beautiful scenery! Love the photo of the river.
January 12, 2012
Very beautiful. Somewhat reminiscent of Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park. Spectacular photos. If I ever need a funicular operator, you are the first person I will call. At my age, I am surprised to have never heard of that before. Thanks for sharing.
January 13, 2012
Love the photos and it sounds like a great way to spend a winter day. I find that snow is so beautiful in natural, virtually untouched surroundings like that but in the city it gets so dirty and messy that all the beauty disappears.
January 13, 2012
These are great pictures of the cold Partnachklamm in Garmisch!
January 14, 2012
Gorgeous winter scenery. I would have been a little nervous about funicular operation, too, but it would be a very cool experience.
January 15, 2012
I'm not sure I would have done a hike in such cold and icy conditions, but it looks beautiful and I'm sure it was a memorable experience!
January 17, 2012
Wow, that's really beautiful! With my tunnel vision all set on going up to Zugspitze, I missed out on both Partnachklamm and Höllentalklamm this past October. I'll just have to come back this fall to Munich/Bavaria/G-P and visit. Thanks again for your post!
eileen ludwig
March 6, 2012
Did not realize the site name change was for the whole site? Lost your page ranking and how am I going to remember that name? Love the winter scenes and it always makes me miss the picturesque landscapes but not the cold. You have really been enjoying this winter in Germany
December 2, 2012
Your pictures of Partnachklamm look amazing. I've never been to this part of Germany before but as it's very close to Innsbruck I propably going to it soon :)
December 9, 2012
@Anita - Thanks so much. It's very close to Innsbruck (which I haven't been to yet), and I would highly recommend it.
January 3, 2013
I was about to visit this place when I was in GaPa las summer. Partnachklamm seems to be even more exciting during winter! I will take care that I have time to experience this when I visit GaPa again :)
January 3, 2013
@Tommi - Highly recommend it. It's one of my favorite hikes in GaPa.
January 14, 2013
We stayed for three months in Garmisch last winter, and this place was one of my favorites, it's incredible how huge the icicles were, like frozen waterfalls!
January 16, 2013
@Sofia - Lucky you! I can never get enough of Garmisch. Glad to hear that you've experienced it as well.
February 25, 2013
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